OK, so what are we looking at here? It’s a cloudbuster! Yes, this rain-making machine was the topic of Kate Bush’s 1985 single “Cloudbusting,” based on the close relationship between psychiatrist/psychoanalyst/inventor Wilhelm Reich and his son Peter. But even if you knew this, you may not know that the machine in the video was designed by the folks who brought us the Alien creature. Or that the video was brainstormed by Kate Bush and none other than Terry Gilliam. And that Julian Doyle, the man who shot the special effects for Gilliam’s Brazil and Time Bandits, directed the piece, which also starred Donald Sutherland!
In the video, Bush plays young Peter, the son of Wilhelm Reich. She had some great material to draw on–apparently Peter Reich’s memoir, A Book of Dreams, inspired the song! Donald Sutherland plays Wilhelm Reich, and given his acting talents and Kate Bush’s flair for the dramatic, the piece unfolds like a short film. Father and son revel in the joys of invention on the English hillside. Government officials break up the party. Father and son still believe…and a dramatic ending does not disappoint!
Be on the lookout for some great shots of the cloudbuster in all of its steampunk glory! Not to mention, the laboratory visuals will remind you of some of Thomas Dolby‘s technology-driven music videos, as well as the general scientific aesthetic that permeated the ’80s. When all is said and done, this video reinforces the fact that when it comes to performing, there’s no “halfway” for Kate Bush! Enjoy!